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Dublin: 17 °C Sunday 20 May, 2018

5 reasons to watch the League of Ireland this weekend

Cork City welcome the return of a fan favourite, Limerick reach 2,000 league games and Derry look to build on European win.

Shamrock Rovers midfiedler Ronan Finn and Killian Brennan of St Patrick's Athletic.
Shamrock Rovers midfiedler Ronan Finn and Killian Brennan of St Patrick's Athletic.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

1. The return of John O’Flynn

AFTER SIX YEARS away in England, John O’Flynn has returned to Leeside for a second spell at Cork City. The 31-year-old striker is available for Sunday’s trip to the Showgrounds to face Sligo Rovers and Rebels fans will be hoping he can replicate the form he showed first time around.

It’s brilliant to bring in John,” manager John Caulfield told “He’s a fantastic signing for us. Mark O’Sullivan has led the line nearly solo-handed for us since the start of the season.

“He gives us more options up front which is what we need. In my opinion, he’s in the prime of his career and he’s in fantastic condition. He has been training for us for the past couple of days and will go straight into the squad for Sunday.”

2. Another week, another Dublin derby

It’s the meeting of third v fourth at Tallaght Stadium on Saturday evening.

Both sides come into the game on the back of victories as the Hoops saw off UCD away from home while the Saints overcame Bray 3-2 thanks to Christy Fagan’s 14th and 15th goals of the season.

Pat’s, who have their Champions League tie with Legia Warsaw on the 16 July to look forward to, were victorious when these two last met in the league back in April — Killian Brennan scoring the only goal of the game from the spot on the stroke of half-time.

3. Milestone for Limerick

A three-game winning streak was brought to the end last weekend when Limerick were comprehensively undone by Munster rivals Cork City.

The Blues welcome Bohemians to Thomond Park tonight and manager Stuart Taylor will be wary that the Gypsies got the better of them in the FAI Cup just four week ago. It’s also a momentous occasion as the fixture marks 2,000 league matches for Limerick since they joined back in 1937.

We all let ourselves down badly in Cork,” Taylor told “We take that from myself all the way down to the players, across the board.

“It was a really disappointing night for us but we’ve got to learn from that, move on and make sure it doesn’t happen again. We’ll certainly go into Friday’s game a lot fresher.”

4. Candystripes back after European night

After their 4-0 win Europa League win over Aberystwyth Town on last night, Derry City once again turn attentions to improving their league position.

Currently seventh in the table having most recently drawn 2-2 with leaders Dundalk, Peter Hutton’s Candystripes are away to Athlone Town on Sunday afternoon.

Despite being rock bottom, Athlone have produced a number of encouraging displays under Keith Long and picked up four points from their last two league outings.

5. Drogs seeking first win under Kierans

Two clubs who have recently replaced their managers met last Friday night when Drogheda United hosted Sligo Rovers.

And it was Bit O’Red’s new man John Coleman who won out over Drogs caretaker Darius Kierans, who will be aiming to pick up his first three points since returning to the position when they face Bray Wanderers at the Carlisle Grounds this evening.

“I thought we showed a lot of character in the Sligo match and considering recent results, to play like that against one of the better teams in the league was encouraging,” Kierans told the club’s website.

Alan (Mathews) usually has his side’s very hard to beat and they have some match winners with the likes of Jake Kelly and David Cassidy who we know well from his time with Drogheda.”

Premier Division - Friday 

  • Bray Wanderers v Drogheda United (7.45pm)
  • Limerick v Bohemians (7.45pm)


  • Shamrock Rovers v St Patrick’s Athletic (7pm)


  • Athlone Town v Derry City (4pm)
  • Sligo Rovers v Cork City (7pm)

First Division - Friday 

  • Waterford v Galway (7.45pm)
  • Wexford Youths v Cobh Ramblers (8pm)


  • Longford Town v Shelbourne (7.45pm)


  • Shamrock Rovers v Finn Harps (2pm)

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Ben Blake

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